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June 23, 2010

The Last Day of the Month…

Filed under: Center City Real Estate — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 3:20 pm

Do yourself a favor- and don’t try to settle on that day!
 

 
For some reason, all Realtors seem to want their clients to settle on the last day of the month. I don’t suggest such a thing.

Here is the scoop- since mortgage payments are made in “arrears”…..IF you settle say May 31st., your first monthly payment isn’t due until July 1st- and you need less monies out of your pocket to settle (its a complicated equation).  But if you settle June 1st- your first payment isn’t due until August 1st- but you need to pay all the interest for the month of June at the settlement table.  Either way….you gotta’ pay the piper.

The last day of the month is busy at all title companies and if your stuff is packed up on a truck, circling the block, awaiting for you to settle on your new Philly condo– the day can be a mess. Why complicate it even further by trying to settle on a day when the title companies are jammed and fully booked? Do yourself a favor…always settle mid-month. You may not understand why, but I do 🙂

Mark Wade
www.CenterCityCondos.com
Prudential Fox and Roach REALTORS®
530 Walnut St., Suite 260 Philadelphia, PA 19106

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June 15, 2010

Are you a Realistic Buyer?

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,General Real Estate,Of Interest to Buyers — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 10:34 am

Of course our Philadelphia condo market is not moving at the pace it was back in say 2006/2007. But are you looking a gift-horse in the mouth when a condo is clearly undervalued (say a foreclosure), and you want to offer 60% of the asking price?


    
Lets say a condo you adore once sold for $500,000, and has gone through the foreclosure process, and is now asking $400,000. You want to offer $240,000 although the comparable valid comps suggest it is worth every penny of the $400,000. Sure, you are probably going to get it for less than asking, but is a $240,000 offer really valid and/or realistic? Probably not.

Though each seller has their own level of motivation, I would suggest that buyers need to look at condos realistically. Don’t you think that IF the seller were going to take $240,000, that there would be a line out the door, and around the block to buy that Philly condo?  What, are you the only big-brained, know-it-all who is clever enough to come up with a plan to buy a condo at an unrealistic price? Perhaps you are new to this planet.
 
Again, YES…the market is not as strong as it once was in terms of sale prices. But ask yourself- are you being realistic, or are you looking a gift-horse in the the mouth?

Mark Wade
www.CenterCityCondos.com
Prudential Fox and Roach REALTORS®
530 Walnut St., Suite 260 Philadelphia, PA 19106

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June 10, 2010

Not all 1500 Sq Ft Condos are Created Equally

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,Of Interest to Buyers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 10:34 am

…in value, scale, or layout!

   CL 302 stairs
 
There is one thing I know for sure…and that is that all condos are not cut from the same cloth. When we look at a variety of condos in Center City, buyers should be aware that some units excel in closet space, some units have a lot of wasted space, and some condos are just perfect in their proportions. Every buyer has their own set of “likes and dislikes”.

Sometimes a disjointed living/dining room situation is perfect for one set of buyers, but not for another. At times, a specific condo may have a large kitchen, eat-in-kitchen, or almost no kitchen at all. Center City offers such a wide variety of condominium styles and layouts that buyers are often puzzled when comparing a variety of units to one another. 
 
The comment I hear most is, “The other 1500 sq ft condo we just saw seemed so much larger”. Of course….know that the scale of the Philly condo in question also adds to the perception that one unit may be larger than the other, when in fact, it is not. Ceiling height, views, and the amount of natural light always play heavily into that equation.
 
I have seen some really AWFUL 1500 sq ft Philadelphia lofts and condos, and some that are just perfect. But then again, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, opinions do differ from buyer to buyer.

Mark Wade
www.CenterCityCondos.com
Prudential Fox and Roach REALTORS®
530 Walnut St., Suite 260 Philadelphia, PA 19106

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June 8, 2010

The Phoenix Condominiums Sale Staff

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 12:31 pm

I can’t recall the last time I was treated so well!

1
 
I am aware that sometimes when I roll into a Philadelphia condo building with my buyers in tow, the sales staff takes cover. They see me, and mumble…”Oh, shit”.  I am no walk in the park when I represent my buyers….I make last minute appointments, and I piss and moan when I don’t get my way. All in the name of my buyers who I want to make sure are either getting the best deal, or seeing as many things as possible.

For all the sale staff folks who have to put up with me, I apologize. But in my defense, I do sell a boatload of condos. And I would just like to say a huge “Thank You” to the great sales staff at the Phoenix….from John, to Louise, to Francesca. They are great to deal with, and are fair and honest. I am always happy to deal with them, because I believe my buyers are going to get a fair deal. Nothing shady or underhanded, or hidden. Like most new construction sales staff folks- they are great. These folks just rise to the top, and I am grateful. I will continue to show The Phoenix– not only for the staff- But for the new post-auction price structure that makes the building a tough one to beat in terms of value!

Mark Wade
www.CenterCityCondos.com
Prudential Fox and Roach REALTORS®
530 Walnut St., Suite 260 Philadelphia, PA 19106

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June 2, 2010

DO YOU KNOW WHAT “REO” MEANS?

Filed under: General Real Estate,Of Interest to Buyers — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 3:34 pm

In real estate lingo, it simply means “Real Estate Owned”….as in usually owned by a non-emotional third party, out-of-state, corporation or bank.

It also can mean a well priced condo deal for those looking to hopefully hit it “big” in the game of real estate. For instance, lets say a Rittenhouse Square condo goes through a foreclosure process. Often, a large bank will contract with a local real estate company to sell that condo- and usually at a discount.  Along comes Billy the Buyer.

One of Billy’s main priorities is to NOT OVERPAY for a condo here in town. All other wants and needs fall lower on Billy’s priority list. And though every situation is different, I would venture to suggest that REO properties are often priced at a discount. Something Billy is going to like.

Billy has already let me know that he is looking for a deal. So I find this REO property in the MLS, and I call Billy. “Hey Billy…get your can over here and take a look at this great deal”.

IF Billy can negotiate a great deal, Billy could be in for a great great property at a great deal. I have sold MANY an REO in my day here selling Center City Real Estate, and they all seem to have one thing in common- a great asking price!

Lets chat if you have something in common with Billy.

Mark Wade
www.CenterCityCondos.com
Prudential Fox and Roach REALTORS®
530 Walnut St., Suite 260 Philadelphia, PA 19106

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May 28, 2010

An Aggressive Market calls for Aggressive Pricing

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,Of Interest To Sellers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 11:52 am

Auction, short sales, and foreclosures all exert pressure.

 
Interesting development- I had a gorgeous listing that sat on the market for a while, and recently sold for what I would suggest was a really really good price. A strong showing ability, layout, & amenities, coupled with low condo fees and low taxes might have suggested that this unit sold under its value.

However, in  the Philadelphia condo marketplace of 2010, the price was spot-on. The seller recognized the effects that outside forces have played on the local condo market, and therefore acted accordingly.  She signed the buyers highest and best offer.  With the onslaught of a handful of weakened sellers hobbling around the auction blocks, and banks selectively underscoring a trend in pricing with a foreclosure here and there, pricing a Philadelphia condominium is of utmost importance.

The year is not 2007, and prices are not where they were at one time. Though Philly has fared well in comparison to other large cities across the USA, it would be folly to believe that values have not fallen in the past few years. The bottom line is that if your condo is priced well, it should sell well.

Mark Wade
www.CenterCityCondos.com
Prudential Fox and Roach REALTORS®
530 Walnut St., Suite 260 Philadelphia, PA 19106

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May 26, 2010

5 Things ALL Condo Sellers should do prior to listing their Philly Condo

Filed under: General Real Estate,Of Interest To Sellers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 8:59 am

1) Clean the grout in your bathtub and shower.

2) Declutter your closets and countertops.

3) Clean your windows- Inside and Outside if possible.

4) Have carpets professionally cleaned.

5) Clean out your storage area- if applicable.
 
No one wants to inherit your dirty, cluttered lifestyle, if applicable. There is a reason why model homes are so emotionally appealling- they make buyers believe that they will live such a clean, unfettered, uncluttered lifestyle, should they buy that condo. Yeah, it is sometimes a bit “Smoke and Mirrors”…but an emotional kick to a condo cannot be underestimated. I HEREBY DECLARE THAT A GORGEOUSLY CLEAN, DECORATED CONDO WILL THROW THE VALUE OF SAID CONDO UP AS MUCH AS 10%…over an identical, dirty, smelly, ugly looking condo in Philly.

Don’t believe me? Then let me show you two identical Philadelphia condos on both ends of the emotional spectrum. I will make you a believer in no time flat!

Mark Wade
www.CenterCityCondos.com
Prudential Fox and Roach REALTORS®
530 Walnut St., Suite 260 Philadelphia, PA 19106

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May 18, 2010

Condos on Spruce St. and Pine St.

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,Of Interest to Buyers,Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 1:56 pm

Along the “Spruce/Pine Corridor” lies a wide variety of low, mid and high rise condos here in Center City Philadelphia.  This segment of the Philadelphia condo market has remained strong over the past dozen years in terms of resale, demand, and limited availability.
    
Primarily composed of low rise/ Brownstone styled condominiums, The Spruce/Pine corridor offers studio, one, two, and even three bedroom condos characterized by low condo fees, a wide variety of detailing work, and an array of amenities like roof decks, parking, and fireplaces. These are the primary amenities not found in the newer Philadelphia condo high rises (with the exception of parking, of course).

1823 Pine  925 Pine  2302 Spruce

Plaster mouldings, intricate wood detailing work, interesting original detailed floors, and high ceiling are all hallmaks of the Spruce/Pine corridor condo market, as almost all of the low rise condos in the area are defined as “Pre-War” (being
built prior to WWII.)

Mark Wade
www.CenterCityCondos.com
Prudential Fox and Roach REALTORS®
530 Walnut St., Suite 260 Philadelphia, PA 19106

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May 13, 2010

I am pissed at some dumbass lawyer who is picking at my deal like some Mother-Hen-like Goof Ball

Filed under: General Real Estate,Of Interest to Buyers,Of Interest To Sellers — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 9:58 am

I have submitted an offer on a Center City Condo (on behalf of my buyers) only to have the offer repeatedly sent back to me by the lawyer for the seller.

 
Here is my take:
-Who cares if the Agreement of Sale paperwork has crossed out changes, has been through the fax machine twice, and the signatures aren’t witnessed?
-And do I really give a crap that the initial to the changes aren’t dated?  Not really.
-Perhaps this lawyer needs something to do, because he is really grinding fine on the details that do not make or break this deal, or prevent our agreement from being legally binding.
 
Here is that Lawyers Take:
-Stupid Realtor can’t take the time to dot his i’s and cross his t’s. What an idiot. I’ll show him how a contract should
be correctly executed.
-This is what I learned in law school, and why should I be soft on this contract, and not possibly protect my clients interest?
 
What is fair, and what is reality? Probably somewhere in the middle. Point is, ya’ gotta’ roll with the punches. And yes, even I need to brush up on dotting my i’s and crossing my t’s. Perhaps, in the long run, the longer road taken is the shortest possible road.

Mark Wade
www.CenterCityCondos.com
Prudential Fox and Roach REALTORS®
530 Walnut St., Suite 260 Philadelphia, PA 19106

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May 5, 2010

Washers, Dryers, and Refrigerators

Filed under: Center City Real Estate — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 12:26 pm

…are Personal Property in the State of Pennsylvania!

 

I am often asked if all the appliances are included in real estate transactions here in Center City Philadelphia.  The answer is no.  A stove is considered to be “attached” and will always transfer with title (unless excluded and agreed upon by both buyer and seller).  A built-in microwave? Attached and included. A microwave sitting on a counter top? Not included.

Washer/Dryers and Refrigerators in this state are like socks and coffee cups- personal property that is not included in the agreement of sale UNLESS specifically specified. Even though these days few sellers want to lug such dinosaurs to their new Philly condo, unless you specify that they are included in your Academy House condo (for instance)- THEY ARE NOT.

Mark Wade
www.CenterCityCondos.com
Prudential Fox and Roach REALTORS®
530 Walnut St., Suite 260 Philadelphia, PA 19106

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